Being a first-time mom, or almost a first-time mom, is probably the most terrifying thing you can ever experience. You are solely responsible for a human life, its survival, and its comfort, and it is a lot to take on. But you’re not alone, millions of moms worldwide have experienced this exact feeling, so luckily there is a whole wealth of knowledge for you to lean on. Here are a few little hints that might help you get through.
Don’t get caught up in the breastfeeding debate
There are pros and cons to both sides of the argument, and you’re not a bad mom if you pick one over the other. Don’t get your heart set on breastfeeding while you’re pregnant, because for some women it just can’t happen. Listen to your body and how you feel, not what everyone else is telling you.
Put off visitors for a while
You and your partner need to spend a bit of time coming to terms with your new family unit, and that’s okay. Obviously, have your mom and best girlfriends around for moral support if you need it, but don’t let yourselves be harassed into letting your great auntie Mabel turn up at your door straight away. You need time and space to relax into your new role.
Create a nursing nest
Either in your bedroom or the nursery, create yourself a comfy spot where you’re happy to spend quite a lot of time nursing. Make sure you have a lovely big chair and a table to put your laptop on – you’re going to want to watch a lot of Netflix. Most of all, make sure the space is somewhere in which you’re relaxed and happy to spend time. Websites such as BabyPrepping are perfect for suggestions for what to include in your nursing nest and nursery.
Listen to your baby’s cues
To start with they’ll all sound like crying, but trust me when I say you’ll start to be able to differentiate between hungry cries and grumpy cries pretty quickly. Even before the tears, your baby will give cues to demonstrate their hunger, such as finger sucking. Pay close attention to the different sounds and movements it makes, and pretty quickly you’ll be able to decipher it all.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Being a new mom can be terrifying and quite lonely, especially once your partner goes back to work. Don’t be afraid to call on friends and family for comfort, or to take the baby for a couple of hours so you can grab a nap. People will be happy to help and will love to have bonding time with the little one. Use your midwife’s expertise as much as you can, and don’t be afraid to call on them for advice.
Just remember, all moms experience this at some point, just make sure you enjoy it. Spend some time with your partner. Make sure you remember the reason your little bundle of joy exists. Look after each other, and try to make time for yourselves to catch up and cuddle.